Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

Flow Regimes in Two-Phase Hexane/Water Semibatch Vertical Taylor Vortex Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
Charlton Campbell

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Iowa State University,
2025 Black Engineering,
Ames, IA 50011-2030
e-mail: campbel8@iastate.edu

Michael G. Olsen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Iowa State University,
2025 Black Engineering,
Ames, IA 50011-2030
e-mail: mgolsen@iastate.edu

R. Dennis Vigil

Department of Chemical & Biological
Iowa State University,
2114 Sweeney Hall,
Ames, IA 50011-2230
e-mail: campbel8@iastate.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 28, 2018; final manuscript received April 3, 2019; published online May 17, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Pierre E. Sullivan.

J. Fluids Eng 141(11), 111203 (May 17, 2019) (6 pages) Paper No: FE-18-1654; doi: 10.1115/1.4043493 History: Received September 28, 2018; Revised April 03, 2019

Optical-based experiments were carried out using the immiscible pair of liquids hexane and water in a vertically oriented Taylor–Couette reactor operated in a semibatch mode. The dispersed droplet phase (hexane) was continually fed and removed from the reactor in a closed loop setup. The continuous water phase did not enter or exit the annular gap. Four distinct flow patterns were observed including (1) a pseudo-homogenous dispersion, (2) a weakly banded regime, (3) a horizontally banded dispersion, and (4) a helical flow regime. These flow patterns can be organized into a two-dimensional regime map using the azimuthal and axial Reynolds numbers as axes. In addition, the dispersed phase holdup was found to increase monotonically with both the azimuthal and axial Reynolds numbers. The experimental observations can be explained in the context of a competition between the buoyancy-driven axial flow of hexane droplets and the wall-driven vortex flow of the continuous water phase.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Cross-sectional view of Taylor Couette apparatus in the experimental study. The inner cylinder has an outer radius of 15.2 cm, and the outer cylinder has an inner radius of 19.4 cm. The height of the working fluid in the annular gap is 141 cm. Note that the height of the apparatus has been truncated in the figure.

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the experimental arrangement. The annulus was filled with de-ionized water prior to introducing hexane into the system.

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Fig. 3

Depicted here is an example of an original image acquired and its corresponding postprocessed image after using Fiji, an open-source software facilitating image processing. A ruler served as the calibration target for the experiment. With the calibration data, the postprocessed images identifying the droplets, and the assumption that the droplets were spherical based on the aspect ratios being close to unity, droplet diameters were obtained.

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Fig. 4

Droplet measurements obtained showing size dependence on the axial and the azimuthal Reynolds number

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Fig. 5

Flow regimes identified under semibatch vertical liquid–liquid Taylor–Couette flow: (a) Pseudo-homogenous dispersion of hexane in the reactor. (b) Weakly banded dispersion of hexane. (c) Horizontally banded dispersion. (d) Helical dispersion of hexane.

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Fig. 6

Flow regime map based upon photographic observations. Corresponding example images of the identified flow regimes are shown in Fig. 5.

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Fig. 7

Hexane holdup as a percentage of the total fluid volume in the test cell at various values of Reθ and Rea



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